Murder is commonly seen as the worst crime an individual can commit. The act of ending another person’s life is punishable by a lengthy prison sentence and other harsh penalties. Although rare, some unfortunate situations occur in individuals' lives that legally warrant killing another person. In the state of Illinois, the use of deadly force on another person may be justified if the person was directly threatening the defendant's life.
Understanding Illinois Murder Charges
Similar to other criminal charges, murder is calculated, charged, and sentenced by degree. The degree of the murder charge is based on a few factors, including the situation of the crime and the intent of both parties involved. Murder is charged in Illinois on two different counts:
First-Degree Murder — First-degree murder involves killing someone with the intent to kill or cause great bodily harm. This is the most serious homicide charge in Illinois. The consequences of a first-degree murder conviction include a minimum of 20 years in prison. Probation or early release is not permitted for this type of crime. The state of Illinois does not have the death penalty....